Australia: Norton Rose Fulbright advises ME on its largest post-GFC RMBS issue, raising $1.5 billion
Last Updated: 4 August 2015

A cross-border Norton Rose Fulbright team has acted for financial institution ME (formerly ME Bank) on its biggest issue of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) since the global financial crisis.

ME recently launched SMHL Series Securitisation Fund 2015-1 and in the process raised A$1.5 billion. The transaction structure provided for six classes of bonds with the two most senior tranches, Class A1 Bonds and Class A2 Bonds, to be listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

The deal comes at a time of heightened regulatory scrutiny in Australia of major financial institutions' capital reserves being driven by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

Norton Rose Fulbright in Australia co-ordinated the transaction, drafted the offering documents, all of the transaction documents and the Australian legal and tax opinions in its role as ME's counsel. The London office of Norton Rose Fulbright coordinated the application for listing to the Irish Stock Exchange, while the Hong Kong and Singapore offices were involved in settling the offering document in respect of several jurisdictions.

Norton Rose Fulbright partner Scott Millar said the deal reflected ME's ability to raise large amounts of money in the current climate at good pricing levels.

"It was pleasing to be able to co-ordinate a team spanning Australia, Asia and Britain to assist ME in launching this significant RMBS issue," he said. "Utilising our network to advise on the many complex and cross-border aspects of this transaction meant we could provide a comprehensive solution to ME that will help it grow its business."

Scott Millar led the team and was supported by a team in Melbourne and Sydney including Adele Gray, Clare Samson, Claire Falkner, Vittoria Casamento and Aaron Mundy. David Shearer and Vishal Mawkin (London) and David Johnson (Hong Kong) also advised on the transaction.

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